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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Wayne Rooney benched for United-Madrid clash, Coleen not happy

Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs is set to play his 1,000th game in senior football

RYAN GIGGS WAS set to play his 1,000th game in senior football after being named in Manchester United’s team to face Real Madrid on Tuesday, but Wayne Rooney was dropped to the bench, with Coleen Rooney among those expressing shock at the decision.

Giggs, 39, was selected in midfield alongside Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Nani for the Champions League last 16 second leg, as manager Alex Ferguson made six changes to the team that started Saturday’s 4-0 rout of Norwich City.

With Rooney surprisingly demoted to the list of substitutes, Danny Welbeck was selected to partner Robin van Persie in attack, while Rio Ferdinand was preferred to Jonny Evans at centre-back.

Cristiano Ronaldo was named in Madrid’s starting line-up for his first game at Old Trafford since he left United for the Spanish capital in 2009.

Ronaldo joined Angel di Maria and Mesut Oezil in returning to the Madrid starting XI, while Gonzalo Higuain was chosen to start up front, with Karim Benzema on the substitutes’ bench.

Diego Lopez continued to deputise for injured Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who remains sidelined with a broken left thumb.

United go into the game with a slight edge, having secured a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Madrid three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Rooney’s wife Coleen was among the many people on Twitter was among those on Twitter who appeared nonplussed with the decision, saying: “Can’t believe @WayneRooney isn’t starting tonight!!!”

However, she later added: “Don’t know much about football, so not trying to say anything!! Was just excited to watch my husband play in a big game! Hopefully he will.”

Starting line-ups:

Manchester United

De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic (capt), Evra; Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs; Nani, van Persie, Welbeck

Real Madrid

Diego Lopez; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos (capt), Varane, Coentrao; Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Oezil, Ronaldo; Higuain

- © AFP, 2013

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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